Alonso hints at WEC move in Webber tribute

2016 F1 season

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Fernando Alonso has given another hint he is considering a move to the World Endurance Championship.

The McLaren driver participated in a video tribute to ex-F1 racer Mark Webber, who made his final WEC start last weekend. Alonso congratulated Webber on “all your success with Porsche” but added “you didn’t wait for me there, because it would be nice”.

“I think you will be around,” Alonso added, “I will ask you many things when I join your adventure.”

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Le Mans 24 Hours, 2014
Alonso gave the start at Le Mans in 2014
Alonso’s comments are the latest in a serious of hints he is considering a future in the World Endurance Championship. He has said he will not extend his contract next year unless the new generation of cars allow drivers to push flat out again.

At the end of last season Alonso criticised F1’s stewarding and praised WEC’s approach. He has also been critical of F1’s 21-race calendar, while WEC had just nine rounds this year.

Alonso has previously expressed a desire to race in the Le Mans 24 Hours, which is part of the WEC calendar. He started the 2014 running of the race and came close to entering it last year, but his plans were blocked by Honda whose rivals Toyota compete in the series. A change in the grand prix calendar this year prevented F1 drivers from racing at Le Mans.

Webber retired from Formula One at the end of 2013 and spent the last three years racing in WEC before announcing his retirement from racing. He won the WEC title last year with Porsche team mates Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard.

Webber previously said he expects other F1 drivers to consider moving to the series. However Alonso’s McLaren team mate Jenson Button, who will step down from F1 but remain contracted to the team next year, has ruled out racing at Le Mans.

Thanks to Levente for the tip.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 19 comments on “Alonso hints at WEC move in Webber tribute”

    1. Knowing Alonso, he’ll make his move at the wrong time, just as another manufacturer blows everybody away…

      1. @bullfrog he probably doesn’t mind anymore…

      2. @bullfrog – But he’ll still negotiate a good package, so he can wipe his tears with a multitude of dollar bills 😊

    2. That’s not a hint, that message is as obvious as a billboard. I think he should do it, the racing, rules, atmosphere alone is worth switching. Switch before the FIA take control of it one day and make it into a gonzo show.

    3. too late, no competition…

    4. If Renault shows promise next year with their new engine, I wonder if Alonso would join Hulk. They have mentioned craving Alonso in the past and Palmer isn’t a top flight driver and isn’t assured of keeping his seat.

      Alonso has also stated he thinks the only way to beat Merc is driving for a engine manufacturer. I still can’t figure out why Renault sells Red Bull their engines after the tongue lashing and threats RB openly discussed when Renault had problems with their engines….a big mistake.

      Honda will have another lackluster performance next year. They were 2.5 seconds behind Merc and can’t possibly make up that deficit over a few months.

      1. I think one of the problem is that they have the wrong concept for the engine. Because of that, they are stuck with it until next season, which they can totally change the engine. And since there’ll be no token, even if they are behind, the possibility of catching up is there, unlike with the token system where when you wrong in the beginning basically you’re almost guaranteed to never catch up.

      2. I think the reason they’re selling their engines to Red Bull now is a very simple one word answer. Money.

        My understanding (somebody correct me if I’m wrong) is that Red Bull have had to purchase engines at a higher cost than before they tore up the existing contract, possibly as part of a contribution to making sure that the engines got developed properly.

        Also, that video was really lovely to see :)

      3. Renault deserved their threats and tongue lashing from RB last year… the PU Renault produced last year was apalling on power and reliability. They wouldn’t listen to advice being offered by th consultant that RBR payed for in the form of Mario Illien…

        At least when Renault developed the PU for this season, they did listen to Illien and the contract they have with Red Bull says they have to give the Prime engine (hence why when the updates go on the Renault car, Red Bull also get the same number of updated PU’s).

    5. First he will start the 2017 season in the new Mclaren- if the car is slow he will make the change and BUT will take over…

    6. Jonathan Parkin
      21st November 2016, 16:54

      Fernando and Mark a rare BFF pairing among F1 drivers

      1. Maybe bff, but Alonso clearly doesn’t rate webber as a good driver, how could he….after all, he regards the man who mopped the floor with webber as an average driver.

        1. I assume you think Vettel mopped the floor with Webber? If so, to say that is a stretch is being kind.
          Although I am not a Seb fan I once thought he was one of the greats but after the lashing he took from RIC it is obvious it was more about the car.
          I’m sure Alonso considers Seb a “good driver” but not a great one.

          1. Seb 4 championships he mopped the floor. Alonso’s statements about Seb compared to his statements about Webber show that he was/is filled with jealousy. He had the car at Ferrari on two occasions and he blew it.

          2. If it was more about the car, then why would Seb consistently beat out Webber in equal machinery? Also, I am not sure your Ric – Seb comparison is very valid since Red Bull was in the midst of developing the car.

    7. I’m sure the endurance purists will hate me but I’d like to see the WEC go down the Blancpain route and have both shorter “sprint” type races and longer “endurance” type races rather than just solely 6 hour races and the LM24H.

      I’d really like to watch more of the WEC races but to be honest don’t generally have the 6 hours to dedicate to fully understanding any given race, although I have seen reasonable amounts of some of the most recent events. But a closely-contested series of 2 hour races, with a decent range of manufacturers and F1-calibre drivers, on F1 tracks…would pique my interest a bit more.

      Maybe losing the endurance element would be viewed as pointless given it is the USP, but pretty much all of the races are actually a full-blown sprint for the full length of time anyway, so it would be interesting to see how much more intense the racing would be over a shorter distance and still have the longer endurance events too.

      1. If only there was a series in which manufacturers created bespoke racing cars in which individual drivers competed in flat-out-to-the-flag races of around one-and-a-half to two hours.

        Wait…

        1. @keithcollantine you talking about Indycar right? ;)

          1. Indycar has lots of fuel saving also :-)

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